Attract Clients ... Beyond Conversation
And On To Scheduling
How To attract clients, progressing beyond conversation, in building a very successful massage business.
I'm often asked how to progress beyond simple conversation (either on the Internet or face-to-face,) and get prospective clients scheduled for a massage appointment.
"Wow, Your Company Is Really Busy!"
Here are a couple examples from yesterday while I was at the Las Vegas Convention Center. Keep in mind that I was attending for pure pleasure, without a thought in my mind in regards to 'Kris and his massage business.'
This SHOT convention is very popular; I'm guessing over fifty thousand people are in attendance. The convention center itself is expansive, so after ten straight hours of milling around, my feet were tired and I decided to sit down for awhile. Once again, no conscious attempt to attract clients.
This was at the end of the day so I figured I'd make my way out to the lobby and find a seat there. I found an excellent spot to rest and people-watch, next to a scooter rental company. They rent scooters for those who have medical conditions or just don't want to walk the shows.
I love to people-watch and observe my surroundings. I'm not really attempting to attract clients, just observing. I quickly noticed how busy this scooter company was, checking in scooters as it was the end of the day. I quickly determined that the employee's at this company all loved their jobs. Quick and efficient customer service, everyone was smiling, etc., etc. This brought a smile to my face; all too often I see poor customer service with employee's who hate their jobs.
To make a long story shorter, after a rush of check-ins, one employee, Lisa, was busy parking the scooters. I was seated right next to all the parked scooters. I was so impressed with her enthusiasm that I was compelled to speak with her.
When she was in range to hear me I commented, "Wow, your company is really busy. Is it like this at all the conventions?"
This began the dialogue. (I won't bore you will all the details.) It was easy to begin a conversation with her for a couple of reasons.
1) In observing her, I quickly noticed she was positive and upbeat. She had a good attitude. She was 'open' to discussion.
2) She had noticed me observing her with a positive frame of mind. I smiled when she looked at me, yet didn't stare at her in any manipulative manner as most do to attract clients.
What did the conversation consist of? My new found friend, Lisa, telling me about the scooter company, who rents the scooters, why people rent them, etc., etc.
What did I do? Listen with an open mind without an agenda. I added my two cents in here or there, gently asking a few more questions. (Nothing personal or inappropriate.)
What happened next?
Lisa noticed my convention badge and asked about me and what it is I do. I casually mentioned that I am a massage therapist. She commented on this, and then I asked her if she had ever received a massage, etc., etc. The conversation continued on between us as she ran around performing her duties.
Within twenty minutes, we had traded information and she is scheduled for a massage with me for next Tuesday.
After this discussion with Lisa, I began another discussion with Lee, a very jovial woman who was returning a scooter. (Once again, not deliberately attempting to attract clients.) She was parked right next to me waiting to check her scooter in. She was wearing a vest with a tremendous amount of pins on it. They caught my eye, and I politely asked her what the majority of the pins represented.
Once again, within a half hour we had traded information and she is scheduled with me as well. Two new massage clients within an hour, and I wasn't even looking to attract clients!
Here's the moral of the story. (And it's certainly NOT about me bragging in regards to how easily I attract massage clients.)
- Keep a proper state of mind. Open and upbeat.
- Observe your surroundings. Be aware, perceptive and receptive!
- Have confidence in yourself so others approach you, or that you can approach others.
- Open up and be friendly!
- Show interest in others.
- Be a great listener. Everyone wants to tell their story!
- Ask original questions.
- Share information about yourself in a creative manner.
- Demonstrate and communicate how your skills are a solution to others wants and needs. (Only after the conversation has switched to you. It's all about them, first!)
...and last but certainly not least, BE NICE!
People love to talk to others that are just plain 'nice.' Don't come at people with an agenda, like you want to sell them something or attract clients. Just observe and communicate in a pleasant manner. It's what I did above with spectacular results!
Ask questions and draw people into a conversation. I noticed that both ladies mentioned above were extremely over weight. I also noticed that both had medical issues.
Did I begin the conversations in regards to massage and the benefits of massage for these two ladies in an attempt to attract clients? No! I began the discussions with something that I knew would interest THEM.
Was I perceptive and aware of their physical condition? Of course. I never once mentioned it though. What did I do?
I allowed THEM to make the connection. I could almost see them thinking:
"Oh, Kris is a massage therapist. I'm on my feet all day and would love to have my feet rubbed. My lower back is killing me also. He can help me with that as well."
How do I know this?
Because as I listened to them and continued the conversation, they actually mentioned this to me, both of them. They sold themselves on my services with out me attempting to attract clients in any overt manner.
I actually refuse to close people. I never ask them, "are you ready to schedule a massage?" They open to me. Prospective clients have to see the value in what it is I'm offering and convince themselves.
Does this work all the time? Of course not.
It's OK though, because...
- The more contacts you make in life
- The more relationships you build and develop
- The fewer bridges you burn
- The greater the web of people who have strong positive feelings for you
- The more people you reach out to help
- The more likely you are to be successful.
"Kris, I'm not a very good conversationalist. What then?"
You don't have to be. You also don't have to have all the confidence in the world either. Just ask simple questions, be an excellent listener and the conversation will flow, naturally. Let other people talk. Just listen and answer appropriately; it's what works for me to attract clients!
Thanks for your time and if you have your own stories to share on how you attract clients, list them below!
Also, here is a more formal article to attract clients, Attract Massage Clients, which lists everything I'm doing to attract clients right now.
Las Vegas Massage Therapist Kris Kelley
P.S. - I've now retired from the massage therapy industry, moving on to life coaching. If this interests you, please feel free to visit my new blog here, Exploring Awareness. Thanks for your time and hope you enjoy your day!
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